Research interests: Chinese literature and culture.
Xiaofei Tian is Professor of Chinese Literature. Her major research field is the literature and cultural history of early medieval China, but her research and teaching interests as well as publications extend to late imperial, modern, and contemporary Chinese literature and culture. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Harvard in 1998. After teaching at Colgate University for a year, she was appointed as Assistant Professor of Premodern Chinese Literature at Cornell University in 1999. In 2000, she left her tenure- track position at Cornell to become Preceptor in Chinese at the Department of EALC, where she developed a series of ‘content courses’ in Chinese. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2005 and full professor in 2006.
Tian is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and books in English and Chinese. Her most recent English publications are Beacon Fire and Shooting Star: The Literary Culture of the Liang (502-557) (Harvard-Yenching, 2007), Visionary Journeys: Travel Writings from Early Medieval and Nineteenth-century China (Harvard-Yenching, 2011), and the translation of a late nineteenth-century memoir, The World of a Tiny Insect: A Memoir of the Taiping Rebellion and Its Aftermath, with notes and a critical introduction (University of Washington, 2014). She is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Classical Chinese Literature (1000 BCE-900 CE) and A New Literary History of Modern China. She served as Chair of Regional Studies East Asia from 2009 to 2011. She was a Walter Channing Cabot Fellow in 2012-2013.